14/02/2017 10:25 GMT | Updated 15/02/2018 05:12 GMT

Weight Is Just A Number - A Plea To My Daughter


Photo credit: author's own

My daughter stood on my scales last night and I admit; my heart broke a little. At two years old she knew what she needed to do to weigh herself. Like most behaviours it was learnt, and it was learnt from me. So here is what I want to say to her, something I should have been saying to myself all along:

Please don't take any notice of those scales baby, they are just going to tell you a number. A number that won't make you happy.

That number won't tell you that you have a smile that can brighten my entire day, that you have a stubbornness in you that will see you well in life. It won't tell you how kind you are, or how good a friend. It won't tell you what a good sister, daughter, and hopefully one day mother you are. It won't tell you how much of an important part you play in so many people's lives; more than you could ever realise. It will just give you a number that will place you alongside everyone else's numbers. It will give you something to compare yourself to.

It will not tell you how healthy you are, how fit you are and whether you can play a sport alongside teammates. It will just give you a number. It won't tell you that you can run fast, cycle hard or swim strong. It won't be able to tell the story that your body may have ran a marathon, or carried and delivered a child, or travelled and experienced the world. It won't tell you how much of a difference you make to people's lives because... well it's just a number.

That number will have the potential to make you feel like you are lacking in some way, that you perhaps need to make that number bigger or smaller; very rarely will people look at that number and use it solely for information. Information is not good if it makes you feel sad or lacking in any way because you are enough, and you are beautiful just the way you are.

It won't tell you how sensitive, kind or caring you are. It won't tell you how smart or imaginative or courageous or adventurous. It will not be able to define or describe you so please don't let it.

Be strong. Be fit. Be healthy. Be YOU.

But please please please do not ever worry about that number.

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